There have been a number of stories about what's going on with Netflix and Comcast (press release), but I don't think anyone outside of Netflix and Comcast really knows all of the details.
Dan Rayburn at the Streaming Media blog has been covering this topic for years and is one of the few that really understands these types of relationships. Dan's story, Inside The Netflix/Comcast Deal and What The Media Is Getting Very Wrong, explains why this is probably a good deal for Netflix:
"Naturally, many of these same people are also implying that because Netflix has to pay Comcast, consumers will foot the bill for this as Netflix will have to charge more for their service. This could not be further from the truth. Those stating this have no clue how Netflix delivers their content today or what costs they already incur. If they did, they would know this is not a new cost to Netflix, it’s simply paying a different provider, and it should be at a lower cost. It should actually be cheaper for Netflix to buy direct from Comcast, and they also get an SLA, which also improves quality and that’s a good thing. Given that Netflix has many options to buy transit from many different transit providers, why would they pay more? They wouldn’t."
Have you notice better or worse service from your Internet provider lately?